Dordt College News

NISO Fall Concert Features John Thomson, Virtuoso Violinist!

November 12, 2008


The Northwest Iowa Symphony Ochestra (NISO) continues the 2008-2009 season with a fall concert on Tuesday, Nov. 18, at 7:30 p.m. in Dordt College’s B.J. Haan Auditorium.

Guest conductor Tim McGarvey will lead the orchestra in performing works by three Norwegian composers and the incomparable Peter Ilitch Tchaikovsky. The concert will open with “Entry March of the Boyars” by Johan Halvorsen.

Virtuoso violinist and NISO concertmaster, John Thomson, will solo with the orchestra on Ole Bull’s “A Visit to the Summer Mountain Pasture.” The orchestra will follow with “Peer Gynt Suite No. 1,” one of the most well known and beautiful works of Edvard Grieg. The major work of this New Directions season concert is Tchaikovsky’s monumental “Symphony No. 4.”

John Thomson was born in England and moved to New Zealand to study violin. He later came to the United States for advanced studies and now teaches at the University of South Dakota. Thomson has performed in Asia, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and throughout the United States.

In 2000, he performed on Ole Bull's violin at the rededication of Bull's statue in Minneapolis, Minn., and in 2006, he presented the Hardanger fiddle for the first time in concerts in South Korea. Critics have praised his brilliant technique and appealing cantabile, referring to his performance as a “rare treat” and naming him a “stellar soloist.”

Tickets may be ordered through e-mail at,or by calling 712-722-6230. They may also be purchased at the door the night of the concert.

NISO features the finest musicians in the tri-state area. Professional caliber teaching principals function as first chair players and teachers in sectional rehearsals. The orchestra membership includes adults of all ages, as well as gifted music students from area junior high schools, high schools, and colleges. Seven junior high and high school students receive scholarships to continue their private lessons.

NISO is supported by the Iowa Arts Council, the Sioux Center Recreation and Arts Council, the Friends of the Symphony, and individual patrons and business establishments.

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